The Devil’s Anvil – Hard Rock From The Middle East (1967)

FrontCover1The Devil’s Anvil were a group of Arab-American musicians playing the New York folk and rock club circuit in the mid-’60s. They differed from virtually every other group experimenting with Eastern sounds because though they were rock musicians deeply rooted to the folk traditions of their heritages, and they played the Anatolian instruments associated with them. Among the members of Devil’s Anvil were Felix Pappalardi, then a house producer at Columbia, and Steve Knight, who partnered with him, and Leslie West and Corky Laing in Mountain. Knight was a founding member of Devil’s Anvil, playing rhythm guitar, bass, and bouzouki. Other members included the excellent lead guitarist Jerry Satpir, Eliezer Adoram on accordion, and Kareem Issaq on vocals and oud. Pappalardi produced the set and added tamboura and durbeki (dumbek). Hard Rock from the Middle East is the only album issued by the group. They had the unfortunate karma of having their album released at the height of the Arab-Israeli war and no one would touch the recording — check out the cover and it’s easy to see why. That said, this is truly a forgotten classic. The music found here is often sung in Arabic, its arrangements walk a tightrope between the modern psychedelia of the day and centuries-old traditional folk modalities and melodies.

KnightPappalardiSteve Knight + Felix Pappalardi

There is no camp factor in these proceedings, and each member is a heavy hitter in his own right. According to the liner notes, Pappalardi says that the group would back stars on the Middle Eastern circuit when they came through New York. Tracks such as “Shisheler” and “Karkadon” (both tunes from antiquity) illustrate the sound of the set ideally. Amid the electric guitars that are at the forefront of the sound, oud, dumbek, and bouzouki flood the backdrop. Elsewhere, such as on the wailing opener “Wala Dai,” the addition of studio drummer Bobby Gregg and an uncredited Farfisa organ make the music take on a full rock personae, while displaying its Arab characteristics in vocal, rhythmic pulse, and harmonic scale with fuzz guitar on full-surf stun. But there are other surprises, as well, such as “Kley,” which is sung in Greek and played according to a folk arrangement that straddles both traditions and seems right at home as a rock tune. Likewise, “Shisheller” utilizes psychedelic overdriven guitar and bass to fuel a celebratory Turkish tune that is sung in its native language! This is the true stunner on the set, where everything that Devil’s Anvil possessed is on display.

The best-known cut here is “Misirlou,” sung in English by Pappalardi and is entirely different — and better than — the well-known cover of it by Dick Dale. It’s true that Hard Rock from the Middle East is an album that was ahead of its time, and over four decades, later it remains so. With its stunning musicianship, songcraft, and skillful weaving of musical traditions into a cohesive musical statement, it endures and is perhaps even more relevant today than when it was first released.)

Elierzer Adoram (accordion)
Kareem Issaq (oud, vocals)
Steve Knight (guitar, bass, bouzouki)
Jerry Sappir (guitar, vocals, percussion)
Bobby Gregg (drums)
Mike Mohel (percussion)
Felix Pappalardi (bass, guitar, vocals on 11., percussion)

01. Wala Dai (Traditional) 2.43
02. Nahna U Diab (Traditional) 3.00
03. Karkadon (Wabbi/Webbi) 2.25
04. Selim Alai (Traditional) 2.27
05. Isme (Atrash) 6.00
06. Besaha (Wabbi/Radwan) 1.55
07. Shisheler (Traditional) 2.49
08. Kley (Theodorakis/Livaditis) 4.40
09. Hala Laya (Traditional) 2.51
10. Treea Pethya (Traditional) 2.24
11. Misirlou (Collins/Roubanis) 3.01

Tracks 1 to 6 & 9 are sung in Arabic.
Track 7 is sung in Turkish.
Tracks 8 & 10 are sung in Greek.
Track 11 is sung in English.


Led Zeppelin – BBC Sessions (1997)

FrontCover1BBC Sessions is a compilation album featuring studio sessions and a live concert recorded by English rock group Led Zeppelin for the BBC. It was released on 11 November 1997, by Atlantic Records. This was the first release of new Led Zeppelin material in seven years. Disc one consists of material from four different 1969 BBC sessions. Disc two contains most of the 1 April 1971 concert from the Paris Theatre in London.[5] Disc three was only included in a limited run of album releases and features rare interviews from 1969, 1976/1977, and 1990.

Countless bootlegs of these recordings circulated for years before the official release. This release was widely welcomed by Led Zeppelin fans as it was the first live release since The Song Remains the Same in 1976. Others have criticized the decision to edit some of the songs and drop others that were recorded for the BBC. Most notable are one session from 1969 which included the unreleased song “Sunshine Woman”, and about seven minutes of the “Whole Lotta Love” medley from 1971. (by wikipedia)

LedZeppelin1970_02Led Zeppelin’s BBC sessions were among the most popular bootleg items of the rock & roll era, appearing on a myriad of illegal records and CDs. They were all the more popular because of the lack of official Led Zeppelin live albums, especially since The Song Remains the Same failed to capture the essence of the band. For anyone who hadn’t heard the recordings, the mystique of Zeppelin’s BBC sessions was somewhat mystifying, but the official 1997 release of the double-disc BBC Sessions offered revelations for any fan who hadn’t yet heard this music. While some collectors will be dismayed by the slight trimming on the “Whole Lotta Love Medley,” almost all of the group’s sessions are included here, and they prove why live Zeppelin was the stuff of legend. The 1969 sessions, recorded shortly after the release of the first album, are fiery and dynamic, outstripping the studio record for sheer power.

LedZeppelin1970Early versions of “You Shook Me,” “Communication Breakdown,” “What Is and What Should Never Be,” and “Whole Lotta Love” hit harder than their recorded counterparts, while covers of Sleepy John Estes’ “The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair,” Robert Johnson’s “Travelling Riverside Blues,” and Eddie Cochran’s “Something Else” are welcome additions to the Zeppelin catalog, confirming their folk, blues, and rockabilly roots as well as their sense of vision. Zeppelin’s grand vision comes into sharper relief on the second disc, which is comprised of their 1971 sessions. They still have their primal energy, but they’re more adventurous, branching out into folk, twisted psychedelia, and weird blues-funk. Certainly, BBC Sessions is the kind of album that will only appeal to fans, but anyone who’s ever doubted Zeppelin’s power or vision will be set straight with this record. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

And if you want to know, why I think, that Led Zeppelin was one of the finest groups in the 70´s … listen to this rare BBC recordings …

John Bonham (drums)
John Paul Jones (bass, keyboards)
Jimmy Page (guitar)
Robert Plant (vocals)


CD 1:
01. You Shook Me (Dixon/Lenoir) 5.14
02. I Can’t Quit You Baby (Dixon) 4.22
03. Communication Breakdown” (Bonham/Jones/Page) 3.12
04. Dazed And Confused (Page) 6.39
05. The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair (Bonham/Estes/JonesPage/Plant) 3.00
06. What Is And What Should Never Be (Page/Plant) 4.20
07. Communication Breakdown (Bonham/Jones/Page) 2.40
08. Travelling Riverside Blues (Johnson/Page/Plant) 5.12
09. Whole Lotta Love (Dixon/Bonham/Jones/Page/Plant) 6.09
10. Somethin’ Else (Cochran/Sheeley) 2.06
11. Communication Breakdown (Bonham/Jones/Page) 3.05
12. I Can’t Quit You Baby (Dixon) 6.21
13. You Shook Me (Dixon/Lenoir) 10.19
14. How Many More Times (Bonham/Jones/Page) 11.51

CD 2:
01. Immigrant Song (Page/Plant) 3.20
02. Heartbreaker (Bonham/Jones/Page/Plant) 5.16
03. Since I’ve Been Loving You (Jones/Page/Plant) 6.56
04. Black Dog (Jones/Page/Plant) 5.17
05. Dazed And Confused (Page) 18.36
06. Stairway To Heaven (Page/Plant) 8.49
07. Going To California (Page/Plant) 3.54
08. That’s The Way (Page/Plant) 5.43
09. Whole Lotta Love Medley (13.45):
09.1. Whole Lotta Love (Dixon/Bonham/Jones/Page/Plant)
09.2. Boogie Chillun’ (Hooker)
09.3. Fixin’ To Die (White)
09.4. That’s Alright Mama (Crudup)
09.5. A Mess Of Blues (Pomus/Shuman)
10. Thank You (Page/Plant) 6.38

CD2A* (CD 1)
** (CD 1)

* (CD 2 + artwork)
** (CD 2 + artwork)


Charly Antolini – In The Groove (1972)

FrontCover1This is a nice listen, funky, crisp, slick, rock-jazz…but there is a slightly dated feel, the tempos are a little too fast, the horns a little too punchy, overly arranged in a studio-musician kind of way. In fact, these sound a lot like the kind of tracks the production houses were putting down for hip soundtracks for movies at the late 60’s – beginning of the 70’s. In fact, if you love that sound this may actually be one of the better, more interesting and varied examples of that kind of thing — maybe a half step down from Vampyros Lesbos territory. I enjoyed it but may never listen to it again because there are so many better funky things to listen to, like Eddie Harris from that era, or all the great CTI recordings, and so on. (By Miklblike Bosco)

Charly Antolini (drums)
Rudi Füsers (trombone)
Dusko Goykovich (trumpet)
Heinz von Hermann (saxophone, flute)
Berni Prock (percussion)
Ack Van Rooyen (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Armin Rusch (keyboards)
Herman Schoonderwalt (saxophone)
Siegfried Schwab (guitar)
Jean Warland (bass)

01. Jesus Christ Superstar (Webber/Rice) 7.37
02. Handicraft (Kiessling) 5.18
03. Punching Ball (Reith) 5.53
04. Gringo Domingo (v. Hermann) 3.04
05. Scratches (v. Hermann) 6.26
06. Y Luego (v. Hermann) 6.46
07. Skinny (Reith) 6.37
08. Gemma Ham (v. Hermann) 2,01


AlternateFrontCoversAlternate frontcovers

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass – Herb Alpert’s Ninth (1967)

FrontCover1The cover art of Herb Alpert’s Ninth is hilarious — a bust of grim old Beethoven wearing a Herb Alpert sweatshirt, a parody of the pop icon fad going around at the time and maybe a comment on the rock world’s newfound pretensions in the wake of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper. In any case, Herb Alpert’s Ninth does introduce some highbrow pretensions of sorts to Alpert’s Ameriachi sound — some very subtly applied strands of strings on several numbers and a madcap, multi-sectioned fantasy of tunes from Bizet’s Carmen that is full of in-jokes from the opera and the TJB’s hits. Alpert is also quite aware of the brave new world around him; he does a spare, lazy, yet entirely novel-sounding cover version of Sgt. Pepper’s “With a Little Help from My Friends” and gives the Supremes’ “The Happening” a bouncy workout. There is also a touching memorial to the late Ervan Coleman (“Bud”) and another underrated contribution from the Alpert songwriting team, Sol Lake’s swinging “Cowboys and Indians.” the TJB still churns out the Latin American rhythms, but sometimes with a shade less exuberance. (by Richard S. Ginell)


Herb Alpert (trumpet, vocals)
Nick Ceroli (drums)
Bob Edmondson (trombone)
Tonni Kalash (trumpet)
Lou Pagani (piano)
John Pisano (guitar)
Pat Senatore (bass)

01. A Banda (De Hollanda) 2.10
02. My Heart Belongs To Daddy (Porter) 2.00
03. The Trolley Song (Martin/Blaine) 2.39
04. The Happening (B. Holland/E. Holland/DeVol/Dozier) 2.26
05. Bud (E.Coleman/B.Coleman) 3.38
06. Love So Fine (Nichols/Asher) 2.14
07. The Love Nest (Hirsch/Harbach) 1.59
08. With A Little Help From My Friends (Lennon/McCartney) 2.38
09. Flea Bag (Wechter) 2.04
10. Cowboys And Indians (Lake) 2.52
11. Carmen (Bizet) 3.39


Wilson Pickett – Live In Japan (1974)

FrontCover1Wilson Pickett was the undisputed wild man of soul in the 1960s and ’70s – so much so that his nickname, ‘Wicked Pickett,’ was coined as much for his volatile personality and off-stage antics as his impassioned, throat-shredding vocal style. The Alabama singer – who had first made his name fronting The Falcons in the early ’60 – is best remembered for his hit-packed tenure at Atlantic Records between 1963 and 1972, which yielded 30 US R&B chart entries and included such iconic soul records as ‘In The Midnight Hour,’ ‘634-5789 (Soulsville USA),’ ‘Land Of A Thousand Dances,’ ‘Mustang Sally’ and ‘Funky Broadway.’ In 1973, though, Pickett jumped ship to major label, RCA, then home to acts as diverse as Elvis Presley, John Denver and David Bowie. Unlike Atlantic, however, RCA didn’t have much experience in dealing with R&B acts and it’s no surprise that Pickett’s career began to falter after he joined them.

WilsonPickettRecorded in 1973 at Nakano’s Sun Plazza venue and released in 1974, the double album ‘Live In Japan’ was Pickett’s fourth LP for RCA but failed to sell enough copies to enter the US R&B albums charts. It now comes to CD for the first time (in a two-disc set) and turns out to be an interesting listen, especially if you’re an aficionado of classic soul music. Pickett’s in tremendous form and is accompanied by a standard rhythm section that is augmented by percussion and horns (though sadly, the members of Pickett’s backing band aren’t listed in the credits). The material includes several of his Atlantic-era signature songs – including a superfast turbo-charged version of ‘In The Midnight Hour’ that morphs into a hypnotic adlibbed groove called ‘Soul Train’ and a drawn-out take on ‘Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You,’ which includes some vocal scatting and a duet with his bass player. There are also several covers, including the John Fogerty-scribed Creedence Clearwater Revival hit ‘Proud Mary,’ The Association’s ’60s pop smash, ‘Never My Love,’ Bobby Womack’s ‘I’m In Love,’ Brit blues-rock group Free’s ‘Fire & Water,’ and bizarrely, The Archies’ bubblegum pop smash, ‘Sugar Sugar.’ Despite the questionable quality of some of his source material, Pickett shows why he’s revered as a soul singer: whatever he chooses to sing, he’s able to stamp his own personality on a song and transform it into an impassioned soul sermon.

‘Live In Japan’ isn’t an in-concert album classic in the vein of Donny Hathaway’s ‘Live’ or James Brown’s ‘Live At The Apollo’ but it is nevertheless a valuable audio document of Wilson Pickett when he was still at the top of his game. (by

Wilson Pickett - Live In Japan - BackAPersonnel:
Wilson Pickett (vocals)
a bunch of unknown studio musicians

01. TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia) (Gamble/Huff) 3.02
02. Proud Mary (Fogerty) 4.07
03. People Make The World What It Is (Womack) 4.16
04. Sugar Sugar (Barry/Kim) 4.30
05. Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You (Akines/Bellmon/Drayton/Turner)) 7.19
06. I’m In Love (Womack) 3.34
07. In The Midnight Hour (Pickett/Cropper) 9,56
08. Fire And Water (Fraser/Rodgers) 3.05
09. I Found A Love (Pickett/Schofield/West) 5.48
10. Never My Love (Addrisi) 4.24
11. Glory Hallelujah (Traditional) 4.40
12. Mustang Sally (Rice) 6.41
13. Land Of 1000 Dances (Kenner/Domino) 4.02
14. Soft Soul Boogie Woogie (Goodman/Seals/Jennings) 3.08
15. Mr. Magic Man (Eli/Fisher) 6.37
16. Don’t Knock My Love (Pickett/Shapiro) 7.25
17. Good Night My Love (Marascalco/Matola) 2.37

** (coming soon)

Dan Peter Sundland – Elevenette (2013)

FrontCover1Eleventte is the ambitious debut album of Norwegian, 27-year- old bassist Dan Peter Sundland that attempts to merge compositions for chamber ensembles, improvised segments and texts from contemporary American poets. Sundland’s group consists of four classically-trained musicians, plus seven musicians with backgrounds in modern jazz and free improvisation, most notably tenor saxophonist Hanna Paulsberg and drummer Hans Hulbækmo, both members of Paulsberg Concept, and trombonist Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø, one of the most promising, busiest Norwegian free improvisers and a member of the Lana Trio, As Deafness Increases and Skadedyr outfits.

DanPeterSundland01This project began as part of Sundland’s European Jazz Master program at the esteemed Trondheim Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), where he studied with such prominent bassists as Ole Morten Vågan, Mats Eilertsen and Michael Francis Duch. Gradually, the project grew and attracted more classmates and NTNU graduates. Sundland insisted that the music be communicative, given the demanding cerebral background of his compositions and the poetic texts. He wisely chose wisely the up and coming vocalist Emilie Nicolas Kongshavn, who delivers the texts with a delicate yet commanding, clear voice.

The first composition, “Pentatina for Five Vowels” is based on a poem by Campbell McGarth (who wrote a play based on the life of Norwegian painter Edvard Munch). The first part is introduced by Kongshavn repeating certain words accompanied with minimalist, repetitive wavelike movements by the ensemble, reminiscent of Philip Glass chamber work. Soon, alto saxophonist Martin Myhre Olsen and Nørstebø expand these movements with improvised solos. The second part features Kongshavn reading the entire poem over a gentle, careful arrangement. The post-minimalist arrangement of Christopher Buckley’s “Catecheism of the Sea” follows the poem’s typography, where each phrase is comprised of two lines, a long one followed by a short one. Sundland still borrows minimalist elements from the Glass vocabulary, but transforms them with an impressive, finger-style solo on the electric bass.

DanPeterSundland02“A Western Ballad,” based on an early Allen Ginsberg work, is the most intriguing and balanced composition here. Paulsberg’s beautiful, lyrical solo and delicate chamber segment by violinist Ola Lindseth and cellist Tabita Berglund, as well as the clear and gentle reading of Kongshavn, enhances the melancholic-romantic temperament of the poem. The ensemble creates a thick, cinematic soundscape for “Cuttings & Cuttings,” based on a poem by Theodore Rothke, inspired by nature’s scenery. This spare composition sounds inspired by the majestic Norwegian land and sea. The final song “Subtonevals” is a brief, slow instrumental waltz that highlights the soft, breathy low registers of the saxophones.

Elevenette offers a bold, original vision of composition, improvisation and poetry. Even in its weakest moments, where Sundland’s orchestral references become too transparent, it succeeds as an arresting work. (by Eyal Hareuveni)

Tabita Berglund (cello)
Hans Hulbækmo (percussion, vibraphone)
Torstein Lavik Larsen (trumpet)
Nils Marius Kjøsnes (clarinet)
Emilie Nicolas Kongshavn (vocals)
Erik Lefsaker (flute)
Ola Lindseth (violin)
Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø (trombone)
Martin Myhre Olsen (saxophone)
Hanna Paulsberg (saxophone)
Dan Peter Sundland (bass)

01. Pentatina For Five Vowels I – Words (Sundland/Campbell/McGrath) 9.06
02. Pentatina For Five Vowels II – Poem (Sundland/Campbell/McGrath) 6.02
03. Catechism Of The Sea (Sundland/Buckley) 10.13
04. A Western Ballad (Sundland/Ginsberg) 7.33
05. Cuttings & Cuttings (later) (Sundland/Roethke) 9.46
06. Subtonevals (Sundland) 2.06